What is the change? The Senate has passed legislation authorising the Skilling Australian Fund to develop training and apprenticeship programs for Australian workers.

What does the change mean? Employers who sponsor foreign employees for visas under the Temporary Skills Shortage program, the Employer Nomination Scheme or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme will be required to pay a levy into the fund.

  • Implementation timeframe: To be announced.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary Skills Shortage, Employer Nomination Scheme, Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
  • Who is affected: Employers nominating candidates under the three visa categories.
  • Business impact: Companies should budget for the levies.
  • Next steps: Following Royal Assent, migration regulations will be released. Until that time, current training benchmarks remain in place.

Background: The Skilling Australian Fund Act passed the Senate Monday after being delayed in February due to scheduling limitations. The bill previously passed the House.

Two amendments were added to the bill. One amendment requires that labour market testing be conducted within four months before a nomination is received and that advertising be conducted for four weeks and include the skills and experience appropriate to the position and significantly inform qualified Australians of the position. The other amendment requires an independent review of the fund 18 months after it takes effect and to be completed within six months.

The fund is estimated to collect $1.5 billion over four years and will seek to fund 300,000 employment-related training and apprentice programs.

BAL Analysis: Employers should prepare for introduction of the skills levy, or “Nomination Training Contribution Charge,” within the coming weeks.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 0101248

Copyright © 2017 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact